Life is made up of choices. A series of decisions that come one after the other, day after day. Some of us take these actions quickly, snapping our fingers and heading off in the direction of our choosing. Others take longer to deliberate, examining every factor like a precious gem. Still others treat our choices like a kindred spirit, hooked arm in arm and proud to show them off to everyone we meet.
We all have our own unique way of going, but what happens when these personal styles bump up against one another? Or when a decision is made without taking into consideration the harm it may cause? Or, when the processes we use preference privilege, status or big personalities?
Our experience with the inherent challenge of group decision making, our research into communication, and our desire for a process that addresses these questions – one that is able to integrate differing perspectives rapidly into productive solutions while enacting visions that deliver health – is how we came to develop Integrative Consent.
Below you’ll find the basic outline for the Integrative Consent process.
INTEGRATIVE CONSENT: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE:
1. Proposing: Generate a proposal for a shared agreement.
2. Questions and Comments: All present ask clarifying questions, offer key succinct points of information, proffer a better idea to the proposal, or make any other relevant comments.
3. Amending: Proposer amends the proposal based on the input from the previous two steps if desired. After a significant amendment, another round of Questions and Comments may be requested.
- All present state their objections or lack thereof.
- Any objections should be recorded.
- All stated objections should be processed one at a time via open discussion.
- Objections should be integrated into the proposal until none remain.
Defining Terms: An objection is a concrete, explicable reason why a proposal will cause harm to the organization. An objection is not:
- a reason why one does not like the proposal
- a better way to do it (these are offering during Questions and Comments)
- based on predictive concerns for which there is no current data
The integration of everyone’s perspective is what’s key here. It can be hard to speak up, to share your thoughts and ideas, even for the most outspoken of us. We know that all voices matter, and we hope that this practice provides a way to both honor this knowledge and help to get things done.
Want to learn more about Integrative Consent as an inclusive decision making practice for your team? This is part of a communication system for collaborative teams including an effective and inclusive meeting practice, accountability practices, and more! Learn more about these practices and get the hands on and community support needed to thrive in meaningful collaboration via our remote learning course, Cooperative Leadership Certification Program.